Protests caused the Grand Prix to be cancelled twice last year, as workers and the government felt the protests could pose a threat to Formula One crews, workers and fans, according to CNN.
The ruling Khalifa family assured Formula One crews and advertisers that the race would not be cancelled again this year, and would show that though there was unity in kingdom of Bahrain despite protests and division over the last year, according to CNN
In a statement Sunday King Hamed ibn Isa Khalifa said his government was working on a resolution: "I also want to make clear my personal commitment to reform and reconciliation in our great country. The door is always open for sincere dialogue amongst all our people," according to the LA Times.
Protesters of the race said that allowing the race to go forward to give a false impression of unity to people outside of Bahrain, when there was still much unrest, according to CNN and the LA Times.
The Khalifa family granted very few press visas to news organizations in the U.S., only allowing sports reporters and denying the New York Times reporters visas altogether, according to the LA Times.
In addition, British television reporter, Jonathan Miller and his crew were taken into custody in Bahrain, without explanation after the race. A shot time later, Miller sent a message on his Twitter account saying he'd been released, though his driver and an activist that had accompanied them were still in custody, according to the LA Times.
Some of the unrest in Bahrain was over the news of the recent killing of activist leader, Salah Abbas Habib Musa and the detention of another activist, al-Khawaja, who has been on a hunger-strike for the past two months, according to CNN.